LEXX: S02E02: Terminal
The episode opens with Zev lying on her bed. She is almost in tears as she sings a slow stirring rendition of Yo-ah-oh, the Brunnen G chant. You can tell by the way that she is singing, that she misses the dead bloke – he is still in suspended animation. Nevertheless, she sings like bowl of custard being poored down the sink (I don’t think she should give up her day job).
She is interrupted by Stan, who enters her bedroom and begins to sing his own serenade:
You need meeeee,
I’m the technologeeeee,
While it may sound funny to us, Zev puts her hands over her ears. Stan and 790 argue about which of them is the most suitable suitor but Zev rises from her bed and decides to go and wake Kai. Anything is better than listening to those two arguing over her. Kai has a few months supply of protoblood left and the reanimation of the dead geezer may alleviate the tension and sadness felt by Zev. Stan and 790 accompany her to the reanimation chamber. Stanley does the honour of opening the pod, but makes a mistake.
As Kai awakes he raises his right arm and announces, “I kill you now in the name of his Divine Shadow.” Then he shoots his handy wrist gadget at Stan’s heart! (Kai, like most of us I guess, can be a little grouchy first thing in the morning).
Zev and Stan look at Kai in horror, 790 shouts a ‘yeah’ of joy. Kai, suddenly coming to his senses, hurriedly orders them to freeze Stan. Stan exclaims, “Ughhhnngh.”
The key to the LEXX must be transferred to another living body but unfortunately Stan is delirious, he can’t appreciate the request to surrender the key – after all, he’s just had his heart massaged by Kai’s handy wrist gadget!
Zev asks politely, then she orders him to pass on the key. In the end, she decides that the only way to help Stan focus on the task in hand is to kiss him! (Works for me!) You can tell that she didn’t put her heart and soul into it though, I mean, it can’t be much fun kissing a dowdy middle aged bloke who’s just about to die. Zev definitely did not use her tongue. Having said that, the expiring Stan is not used to being kissed by beautiful women and the encounter is sufficient to focus his mind on transference of the LEXX key to Zev.
The cryogenic chamber is closed on Stan and the remaining crew hunts for a planet with sufficient resources to mend Stan’s heart. They find one – The MedSat Medial Terminal. As 790 locates the satellite, we hear a sales introduction:
‘This is MedSat Medical Terminal. Proud home of the finest physicians in the Quadra System. If it’s broken we can mend it; if it’s bleeding we can stem it; if it’s spreading, we can halt it; if it’s sagging we can lift it! MedSat, where medicine is at – professional, affordable. Receiving patients now.‘
Zev orders the LEXX to set a course for the satellite. As they arrive, Zev communicates with a lovely, yet slightly officious administrator. The administrator wants to know how they intend to pay for the treatment of Stan. Zev points out that they have no medical insurance and no money. The lovely administrator tells them that MedSat is therefore unable to help. Zev, slightly annoyed, decides to demonstrate that she is serious by ordering the LEXX to blow up a local planetoid (as you do). KABOOM!
A look of horror appears on the lovely administrator’s face and the screen goes blank momentarily. Next we see an ugly administrator, Dr. Flag, Apologising for the misunderstanding, he welcomes them to MedSat.
Onboard MedSat, Stan is transferred onto a trolley and wheeled (though it didn’t have wheels) through a very impressive looking ER attended by a three very attractive nurses nearly wearing very short nurses uniforms (I wish British nurses wore uniforms like that!). Zev, Kai and 790 follow on behind. They are introduced to a particularly slimy slap-head surgeon called Dr. Kazan. He may be a good surgeon, but this slimy geezer is full of it!
He assures Zev and Kai that Stan is in capable hands trying to allay their fears and explaining that he, Dr Kazan is made of stern stuff! (You rather get the impression that he should be careful not to step in himself). He also has shoulder pads on his surgeon’s uniform!
Zev unfortunately, is well taken in by his banter and sure enough, he is joined by two other eminent surgeons, Dr. Funz, a Fat-boy with big hair, and the slim and sexy Dr. Veezra who has thin lips and a sharp eyes. They operate on Stan immediately.
This lengthy operation is watched by an untrusting Kai and a rather tired Zev. She falls asleep, elegantly reclining on a couple of chairs using 790 as a pillow. Kai watches the three doctors; Fat-boy, Slim and the slimy slap-head, extract Stan’s heart and place it in a sort of growing jar. The jar is put in a machine and we then see it grow from a miserable piece of red flesh into a strong, healthy, pulsating new heart. It is then unceremoniously put back into Stan’s chest cavity.
Zev wakes up beautifully, unrealistically. Yes unrealistically! As a Sad Geezer, I can accept most of the miraculous stuff that happens in this show, the giant moth that can blow up planets, the 2000 year old dead bloke and the medical facility that can grow vital organs in front of your very eyes BUT! To see Zev wake as if she’d just spent an hour in a beauty parlour was simply unrealistic even for me. Think about it guys, take a moment to look at your own beautiful partner and imagine her waking up in such a situation. Imagine the smudged eyemakup, the spiky hair, her short dress rolled up under her armpits, the snoring and the dribbles of saliva down the chin…. I think the writers expect us to believe too much sometimes!
Zev, Kai and 790 see that the operation is a great success. Afterward, the slimy slap-head Dr. Kazan invites Zev to dinner to celebrate. She willingly accepts. Zev has a very high sex drive remember, and she is significantly impressed by Dr. Kazan’s ability and bedside manner. Her impression is heightened somewhat, when she meets one of his patients on the way to the restaurant. This grateful little old lady is high in her praise of Dr Kazan and the good doctor laps it up.
In the restaurant, slap-head attempts to charm Zev. Let’s face it, he doesn’t need to work very hard. He starts by telling her how ordinary he feels next to her and the LEXX crew. Then he toasts her. “May your every wish be realised.” He says.
Zev answers immediately, “I wish to be kissed!” And they kiss. For those of you that find such things important, I’m not quite sure if hey used tongues, but the slimy slap-head withdrew from their passionate oral encounter with a look on his face like, ‘Aye-up, I’m in here!’
Zev too is slightly intoxicated by the thought of their imminent coupling; she takes on a sort of heady glazed expression. The slimy slap-head notices this and feels that Zev is maybe a little vulnerable. He attempts to find out more about the LEXX and in particular how the key is transferred. He tells her that she is mysterious, alluring, powerful, that she has a force, a burning vitality. Zev is impressed with the banter, but things soon change. Slap head then starts talking about how they should set up house together and even worse, that they should ditch Kai and Stan and fly off in the LEXX together! Zev gradually sees her opportunity of passion slip away. Yet after rebuffing slap-head’s ludicrous suggestions, she asks simply, “Can’t we just have sex instead?”
Slap head rants on calling Stan weak, Kai a freak of nature and 790 a cartoon. We sense that he has lost it at this point. But then again, his objective wasn’t Zev’s love anyway. Having failed at gaining control of the LEXX through the seduction of Zev, he tries plan B and injects her with a sedative. Zev passes out.
Meanwhile, Kai and 790 are with the recovery room with Stan when an opening in the wall appears and Kai is frozen with what looks like a cloud of some sort of freezing gas. 790 also suffers some damage. Two men in protective suits walk in and take Kai away. 790 is thrown in the bin.
As Zev comes round, she finds herself lying on an operating table, her right hand raised to facilitate the transference of the LEXX key. She is still groggy from the effects of the sedative but is gradually becoming aware of what is happening to her.
As she regains her senses, slap-head, fat-boy and Slim lean over her and mention their plans to extract the LEXX key. They tell her that she can either surrender the key voluntarily, or at the point of her death. They tell her that they learned such ruthlessness in Medical School and then they show Zev their tattoos (? I’m not quite sure of the significance of this, but no doubt it has something to do with the story). Slim leans closer, her penetrating eyes look into Zev’s and smiling, she tells Zev that they don’t want to kill her, she even blows Zev a little kiss (ahh, that’s nice). Then slap-head leans over, “The risks are enormous,” he says, “why die for those ridiculous characters you call a crew? We are your friends, they are your handicap.” Finally, as they are about to start the operation, Slim leans over Zev and kisses her lightly and uncaringly. A sample of Zev’s blood is taken and they begin.
Then grateful little old biddy appears to thank slap-head for her treatment and to tell him that she will be leaving in the next 24 hours. Dr. ‘slap head’ Kazan, sensing that he will soon be the captain of the most powerful ship in the two universes, takes this opportunity of telling the little old woman exactly what he thinks of her. He tells her that she wasn’t ill in the first place and that her stay at MedSat was simply an exercise in extracting as much money from her as possible. Then in a very ungrateful example of slap-head’s animosity towards her, he pushes the little old biddy’s wheelchair (without wheels) towards the back of the operating theatre. Then he picks up a gizmo, which looks like a Play Station Console (Jihad insists it’s a Nintendo 64 console! – with flashing lights no less! – wadda SadGeezer :-), and the back of the operating theatre opens up ejecting the old biddy into space. Slap-head’s bedside manner is simply deplorable!
Slim and Fat-boy leave to concentrate their efforts on killing Kai. They try all sorts of things, but fail in just about all of them. He is trussed up in a vertical restraint and he tells them that they must kill him otherwise he will kill them. The nature of Kai’s physiology means that he is impossible to kill, his organs have an ability to regenerate themselves. Fat-boy however, can’t resist the challenge. Slim smiles (for an evil woman she has a lovely smile). Fat-boy continues, “Our satellite drive is powered from a plasma beam from the ion furnace. I’m going to redirect that beam right into your face. What do you think of my plan, dead-man?” Slim points out that then plan might break up MedSat, but Fat-boy tells her that he will be careful.
Dr. Slap-head Kazan is in another operating theatre gradually reducing Zev’s life force. Zev resists almost to the point of death. An assistant points out that Zev’s DNA is not all human, that she is part reptile and that the operation is dangerous. Slap-head Kazan however is convinced that he is close to receiving the key and holds his hand out ready. Zev is almost at the point of death when the key begins to transfer. The transference begins to take place but stops suddenly. Zev gives him a look of hatred and then she regenerates into a cluster lizard. I think that her frail human self died and her more robust cluster lizard essence took over. Zev, the angry Cluster Lizard, breaks free from her restraints and proceeds to eat the operating room staff. She leaves the doomed Dr. Kazan for desert. He looks up at and frantically tries to talk his way out of becoming Zev’s piece of cheesecake. He tells her that only he knows where Kai is, he points out that it was he who saved Stanley, eventually he tells her, “But I’m too beautiful to die.” And with those immortal words, she eats him.
Meanwhile, 790 gradually revives himself in Stanley’s recuperation room – then Stan and they leave to find Zev and Kai but meet Zev in the corridor.
The newly revived Stanley doesn’t realise that it’s Zev and instinctively asks the Cluster Lizard to, “eat the robot!” 790 however senses Zev’s new form and exclaims, “I knew that doctor was a quack!” (wadda great line!). The Cluster Lizard rolls away. Stan and 790 follow on behind.
Zev rolls straight into the operating theatre where Kai is being subjected to the plasma beam. She tumbles towards his restraining unit and knocks Kai out of the beam and into relative safety. Zev is unfortunately trapped in the beam and it gradually begins to destroy her. Kai manages to fabricate a reflective sheet from his broken restraining strap and diverts a stray plasma beam onto the surprised and worried looking Fat-boy and Slim. They are both destroyed.
790 and Stanley appear as Kai looks on helplessly at the dying Zev. He tells them that they are too late to save her. The Cluster Lizard changes back into human form but we can all see that the plasma beam has begun to eat away at her flesh.
She is covered in a glowing yellow substance which is gradually dissolving away at her body. Kai, Stanley and a distraught 790 look on helplessly and in a very sad and moving scene we all see our beautiful heroin emotionally saying goodbye to her friends. She thanks them and tells them that she has had a good life – “Not bad for someone who grew up in a box.” She raises her hand and transfers the LEXX key back to Stanley, “I’ll miss you,” she says. Then turning to Kai, “I love you.” All he can say as he watches is “Zev.” Which is probably all any of us could say under the circumstances.
As the yellow substance takes hold, Zev gives us all one last sweet smile. Then, with a ‘splosh’, she suddenly turns into custard! 790 screams his pain as Kai collects Zev’s remains into a bowl. We all knew she was tasty, but to be reduced to a bowl of custard is, I suppose, the final irony.
Back onboard the LEXX, the custard bowl is placed ceremoniously next to a weeping 790 on the bridge. Stanley wants to blow up the MedSat facility, but Kai tells him that Zev would not have wanted that. In the end, Kai’s reservations count for nothing as in the final scene we see MedSat disassembled by lots of little Mantrid arms!
As the LEXX zooms off into the distance, Mantrid’s ship follows on behind, complete with his numerous little mechanical arms.
Wadda sad and disturbing episode that was. Gripping maybe, but the replacement of one of our favourite characters with a bowl of custard, was just too much for this Sad Geezer to swallow.
Still, I’d have to rate this a Walloping 29,947 out of 10.
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This episode review is © 1999-2019 Tony Fawl.
Not for reproduction without the authors express permission
The LEXX names, characters, pictures and everything else associated with the series are the property of SALTER ST FILMS & TiMe Film-und TV-Produktions GmbH in association with Screen Partners. All rights reserved.